Sunday, July 31, 2016

September Treasures in My Closet - Part 1

It's time to discuss forthcoming books! I love to talk about new releases, but, to be honest, I have so many September books that I had to be selective. Even then, there are enough books for two days. So, I picked out the crime fiction and the books that already have some buzz. These are the books I'm guessing you'll want to place on hold at your local library or pre-order from your favorite bookstore. And, once in a while, I threw in a title on a whim. Let's talk books!

Meet Kate Fox from Shannon Baker's Stripped Bare. Her husband's the sheriff of Grand County, Nebraska. When she answers his emergency line at home, she learns a rancher is dead, Kate's husband, Ted, has been shot, and Kate's niece is missing. And, it's only going to get worse. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

Agatha Raisin returns in M.C. Beaton's Pushing Up Daisies. The cozy village in the British Cotswolds where Agatha retired and opened a private detective agency may be much less pleasant if Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer gets his way. He has plans to turn the community garden into a housing estate. So, Agatha isn't surprised when his obituary appears in the paper. She's involved when Bellington's son, the prime suspect, hires her to find the real killer. (Release date is Sept. 20.)

Juliet Blackwell returns to the setting of The Paris Key for her latest novel, Letters from Paris. When Claire Broussard returns to Louisiana to care for her ailing grandmother, she unearths a beautiful sculpture that her great-grandfather sent home from Paris after World War II. At her grandmother's urging, she travels to Paris, where she discovers letters that offer insight into the life of the unknown woman immortalized in the work of art. As she learns of the woman's tragic fate, she discovers secrets in her own life. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

It's Christmastime. Flavia de Luce has been expelled from school in Canada, and she's sailing home to England in Alan Bradley's Thrice the Brinded Cat hath Mew'd. But, she finds her father in the hospital, her sisters and cousin in the way, and she grabs at the chance to mount her bicycle, Gladys, and run an errand for the vicar's wife. She finds a man hanging in his house, with only a cat in the house. Curiosity may not kill the cat, but twelve-year-old Flavia has curiosity to spare. (Release date is Sept. 20.)

Well, here's a scary title. Death of an Avid Reader is the latest Kate Shackleton mystery by Frances Brody. Kate's involved in the search for a daughter given up years earlier. There's the ceremony to expel a ghost at a library haunted by a dead librarian, a ceremony that ends with the discovery of a body. And, there's a killer on the loose. Best of all, reviews say this mystery can be read as a standalone, even if you haven't read previous Kate Shackleton mysteries. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Why do maid of honor duties include keeping the bride out of jail? Maggie Crozat asks herself that question in Ellen Byron's Body on the Bayou. Her co-worker, Vanessa, has turned into a Bridezilla with a long list of duties for Maggie. But, when Vanessa's mysterious cousin is found dead on the bayou behind the Crozet family plantation turned B&B, Maggie has multiple reasons to find a killer. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

David Casarett's Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness introduces "The Ethical Chiang Mai Detective Agency". Set in Thailand, Ladarat Patalung, a nurse ethicist thinks she recognizes the young woman who brought her dying husband to the hospital. She remembers her coming in before with a different husband, who also died. Ladarat Patalung is the first and only nurse detective in Thailand. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

In Jennifer Chiaverini's latest novel, Fates and Traitors, she looks at John Wilkes Booth through the eyes of four women who loved him. The book jacket says it's about, "The mother who cherished him. The sister who was his friend and confidante. The devoted sweetheart whose love he betrayed. The Confederate widow who conspired with him to bring down a president." (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Lauren Collins' memoir is When in French: Love in a Second Language. Collins discovers a language barrier is no match for love when she moves to London in her early thirties and falls for a Frenchman named Olivier. The relationship grows entirely in English until they marry and move to Francophone Geneva. Then, Collins decides to learn French so she'll be able to understand the children she hopes to have. Her funny memoir is about love and how we learn languages. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

I'm a fan of Sarah Addison Allen's novels, so Susan Bishop Crispell's The Secret Ingredient of Wishes sounds perfect for me. Rachel Monroe has spent her life trying to keep an unusual secret. She can make wishes come true. And the results are sometimes disastrous. When one wish goes wrong, she leaves her hometown, and her past, behind. Of course, she'll end up in a town not on the map, Nowhere, North Carolina. And, she's taken in by a woman who can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Before she ruins the life she's building in Nowhere, Rachel has to accept who she is, and what she can do. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

Seven months after their last encounter in Robert Daniels' Once Shadows Fall, retired FBI agent Jack Kale and Atlanta Police Detective Beth Sturgis return in Wake the Devil. They're reunited for a case that pits them against the Sandman, a nearly perfect assassin who leaves no trace and has eluded police for years. The team must protect his next targets, two witnesses scheduled to testify before a grand jury. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Lesley A. Diehl's latest Eve Appel mystery is Mud Bog Murder. When Jenny McCleary leases her property to be ravaged by the annual mud bog races, the small town of Sabal Bay, Florida is divided by warring camps, environmental activists versus monster truck fans. Eve Appel and her friend join the protestors. But, when Jenny's head is sent airborne by the wheels of a truck during the race, Eve knows someone took the protests too far. (Release date is Sept. 1.)

Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, brings us The Wonder. A small Irish village is mystified by what appears to be a miracle, but may actually be murder. Eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell is said to be living without food. Tourists flock to the cabin, and a journalist is sent to cover the story. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl. As Anna dies, Lib finds herself responsible for the child's care as well as for her very survival. (Release date is Sept. 20.)

Mario Giordano's Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions is the first in a new mystery series. Recently widowed Auntie Poldi moves to Sicily to drink herself to death with a sea view. But, she becomes s potential murder suspect when she finds the corpse of a young man on the beach. Plod falls for the gorgeous Commissario Montana, and they soon form an investigative and romantic partnership. It's a mystery said to offer "sensuality, wit and wonderful riffs on Sicilian cooking". (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Murder in G Major is Alexia Gordon's debut. Classical musician Gethsemane Brown is stranded without baggage or money in the Irish countryside, so she accepts the job of turning a group of rowdy schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra. She also gets to housesit a lovely cliffside cottage, but the ghost of the murdered owner haunts the place. He was falsely accused of killing his wife and himself, and he wants to Gethsemane to clear his name. But, her investigation provokes a killer, and she finds herself in danger. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

Retired teacher Gerry Porter and her granddaughter Maddie return in Margaret Grace's Matrimony in Miniature. When murder happens in the small town of Lincoln Point, CA, Detective Skip Gowen tries to discourage his aunt Gerry and Maddie from investigating. But, how can Gerry stay away when the crime scene is the venue for her marriage to Henry Baker? (Release date is Sept. 9.)

The White Mirror is the sequel to Elsa Hart's Jade Dragon Mountain. Chinese librarian Li Du, traveling with a trade caravan through the Tibetan mountains, discovers a dead monk marked with a pagan symbol on his chest. As Li Du starts putting together the circumstances of the monk's death, he's forced to face the reason he will not go home, and the reason he must. (Release date is Sept. 6.)

The Tea Planter's Wife is Dinah Jefferies' U.S. debut. It's a lush, atmospheric page-turner in which nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper marries the mysterious owner of a vast tea empire in colonial Ceylon after a whirlwind romance in London. He's charming, successful, handsome. But, he's keeping terrible secrets, including what happened to his first wife. (Release date is Sept. 13.)

The last book today is from one of my favorite nonfiction authors, Tracy Kidder. In A Truck Full of Money, he takes us into the world of Paul English. English grew up in working-class Boston, and was diagnosed as bipolar in his twenties. But, he could relate to computers. After English makes a fortune through the sale of the travel website, the first thing he thinks about is how to give the money away. (Release date is Sept. 20.)

This month, I curated all those treasures in my closet, selecting the crime novels and a few other titles that appealed to me. The other half is coming tomorrow. So, do any of today's books appeal to you?


Grace Koshida said...

I enjoyed reading Shannon Baker's Nora Abbott series, so I am interested in this new book set in Nebraska. I loved Ellen Byron's first book, Plantation Shudders. I pre-ordered Body on the Bayou, and will be at Ellen's launch party in NOLA. I love most Henery Press titles, so I would like to try Murder in G Major. And I used to enjoy reading Alan Bradley's Flavia du Luce mysteries but have not liked the recent ones. Now that's she's returning to England with her family, I may give Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd a try.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I am at least a couple behind on Alan Bradley's Favia de Luce books. One of these days I will have to catch up.

Lesa said...

I'm actually with both of you, a few books behind on the Flavia de Luce books. Actually, like Grace, I bogged down a couple books ago. We'll see. I have friends who are up-to-date with them, though, and still love them.

SandyG265 said...

I need them to stop publishing new books for a couple of months so I can catch up on some of my TBR piles.

Deb said...

Wow--so much good stuff! I've just put THE TEA PLANTER'S WIFE on my tbr list. Sounds right up my alley: whirlwind romance, exotic locale, colonial British outpost, dark mystery. Yes, please!

I just can't with Emma Donoghue. I read SLAMMERKIN, which was beautifully-written, but relentlessly downbeat and unutterably bleak. Based on that experience, I couldn't even bring myself to read ROOM. Her newest looks like more of the same: intriguing plot, great writing, overwhelmingly-depressing outcome (although I'd love to be wrong on that; when you read it, let me know.)

Lesa said...

Sandy, If I never receive another book, I have enough in my house to last me until I die. So, yes, I could take a month off.

Lesa said...

Deb, I'm not sure I'll read the Emma Donoghue. It's in the stack because people will want to know about it. It's probably to depressing for me, too.

Margie Bunting said...

I concur with the comments on the Flavia de Luce novels (I gave up a long time ago) and the Emma Donoghu's Room (I can't bring myself to read the book or see the movie). But I loved Plantation Shudders so I will definitely read Ellen Byron's next mystery. I also enjoy Tracy Kidder's books, so A Truck Full of Money will be on my list. Letters from Paris also already on my list, and I've added Murder in G Major and The Secret Ingredient of Wishes. But the one that most intrigues me is When in French, as I majored in French in college and just had fun trying to use it on a trip to Paris. On the way home from the trip, I read Flirting with French, which is also a terrific account of a middle-aged man's (William Alexander) attempts to learn French. Highly recommended!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I had a friend whose dream was to get a cabin in the woods and sit there for a year, just reading all the books he already had. He figured by the end of the year there would be a whole new group of books published. Sadly, he never got to fulfill that dream, dying way too young (at 52), but he did read a lot while he was here.

I agree with you. I have enough unread books right here to last me a lifetime (or two), though I am always looking for more anyway!

Lesa said...

Doesn't that book sound enticing, Margie? I wish I knew French. I took Spanish, but it's been too many years. My sister just returned from Europe, and she said she felt ignorant since everyone there speaks two or three languages. I might not feel so bad when we go to Ireland.

Lesa said...

Oh, I'm always looking for more too, Jeff. I get just as excited when a new book arrives as I always did, especially when it's by a favorite author.

Carol N Wong said...

I am with Sandy, have so many TBR books! Looks like you have some great ones in your closet.

I just finished Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart and was disappointed in it. I loved the first book. Will review that today and then start Every Trick in the Book by Lucy Arlington and Clarina Nichols: Frontier Crusader for Women's Rights by Diane Erickson. Excited about reading second. It is a handsome book, lots or illustrations. Her abusive husband led her to work for Women's Rights instead of raising a family, she was friends with a lot of others who I have already read about.

Beth Hoffman said...

I'm curious about "Murder at the House of Rooster Happiness" and will be watching for your review. Happy Monday, my friend!

Nancy said...

The Flavia De Luce book Is one I am looking forward to. I had looked forward to the last one since it is set in the general area which was my home place. It did have the same appeal as earlier books, though. I know I will enjoy Matrimony in Miniature. I like Camille Minichino's writing which ever name she is going under. I really like her post office series.